I remember wandering under a bunch of half-lit, sputtering fluorescents in the music department of my neighborhood K-Mart, trying to help Mom find a graduation present for my babysitter, Marcia. I’d yet to blossom into a full-blown music geek, but whenever I was out on discount shopping errands and didn’t need to be on hand for a Wrangler’s fitting, I’d wander over to the record racks and judge the quality of bands I’d never heard based on their cover art alone. Iron Maiden ranked pretty high in those days, as did Brain Salad Surgery by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, but when Mom asked for suggestions on what to get Marcia, I knew exactly where to head. I made a beeline for the E’s and pulled out a glimmering copy of Out of the Blue by ELO. Mom took a look, checked the song titles on the back and asked, “But does Marcia like The Electronic Light Orchestra?” And, while I don’t remember my exact response, I know I irrefutably pointed out with precise, ninja-swift logic that there was a spaceship flying into a gigantic Simon game on the cover, so how could she NOT like it? Mom looked again, noticed it qualified for the Nice Price, shrugged, put down the Air Supply LP she was also holding, and said, “Okay.” I did a little half-spin in the air, the fluorescents crackled and fizzed, and Mom gave me the ELO to carry to the register. I tucked it under the arm of my favorite Space Wars t-shirt, sauntered to the checkout line and handed it to the cashier with pride, knowing I’d made a wise choice on Marcia’s behalf. Listening to it now, with it’s sweet, sweet melodies, glittering production and all-around exuberance, I’d have to agree.
Sweet as a melody by ELO, cool as a spaceship flying into a giant Simon game…
OUT OF THE BLUE:
- 2 oz. aged rum
- ½ oz. fresh lime juice
- ½ oz. ginger syrup
- ¼ oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
- a couple dashes of orange bitters
- 8 – 10 fresh blueberries, plus 3 for garnish
- 4 – 5 fresh basil leaves
Muddle the blueberries and basil with the syrup in the bottom of a shaker. Add the remaining ingredients with ice and shake, straining into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with 3 fresh blueberries on a toothpick.